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How to find copyright-free images

copyright free imagesThe phrase “a picture can tell a thousand words” is so true when it comes to blogs and newsletters.  They not only give your words a boost but capture the reader’s attention.  And this is why your written material should be accompanied by an image or two.

However, where do you source your images?  Do you just do a Google search and pick the first one you fancy? Hopefully not as you could be faced with a hefty fine due to copyright infringement.  In this article, we not only provide a step-by-step guide as to how to search safely for images but also provide three of the top sites for copyright-free images.

Advanced Google Search

  • Open Google and on the images tab, type in the search box what you are looking for i.e. sausages
  • Click on the cog on the right hand side and select advanced search
  • In usage rights select free to use or share, even commercially and then click advanced search button

 

Stock Exchange

According to several websites, including computerhope.com, this is the best place to obtain free stock photos.  With over 400,000 images you are bound to find at least one that catches your fancy.  You’ll need to sign up and also note that when you’ve searched for an image, the top and bottom rows are generally from istockphotos (with a charge) so look at the rows in between as these are the free ones.  You’ll also need to abide by their complicated license agreement but once read, it is easy to check on each photo what you can and can’t do with it.

blogFlickr: The Commons

Flickr, the biggest photo sharing site has several options to find stock images.  Many institutions such as the Smithsonian Institute and The Library of Congress have participated in providing images.  The British Library alone has over 1 million images free of copyright restrictions.

Tip: When selecting an image, look at the right hand side for “some rights reserved” and click to see what the restrictions are.

Unprofound

If you are looking for a site where you don’t have to sign up or read license agreements, then this might just be the one for you.  Back in 2001 Jim wanted a website where he could get quality, public domain images without the hassle of licensing agreements, thus Unprofound was created.

These are just three of many sites out there so find the one that you find easiest to use.  However, if you need help with picture research, you can always ask us at Red Desk for help.

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Mel Pretorius
About Mel Pretorius (40 Articles)
We offer Virtual Assistance providing business support for busy people and helping to take the stress out of running a small business or working for yourself